"Yep, if this email were a dessert, it would be super sweet, mushy, gooshy and you'd cry tears because it's so good. Get ready...
For two years I have thought about this email...what I wanted to say, what it would feel like, what your emotions would be. Now that it is here, I'm kinda baffled about what to convey. I'll do my best.
After you left, a part of me was missing. It constantly felt like I had misplaced something, left something behind, lost a favorite something. I couldn't make peace with those feelings. I would cry every time I even saw missionaries, anywhere. I would cry. A lot. I knew in order to get through two years of your absence, I would have to do change my mindset. I prayed about what to do. Heavenly Father reminded me to stay busy. So I did. It helped to keep my hands busy. It distracted my head and my heart. Mostly. If I am being completely honest, (and what's the point if I'm not?), then I will tell you that I have never missed a human being more. I have literally carried you with me every single day, like a pocket watch that one gets out and checks the time frequently. That was me. I'd pull memories of you out multiple times a day and "check" you.
Then the growing came. I could tell Heavenly Father was molding you, shaping you into the missionary He knew you could be. My heart exploded with love, admiration and (remember I am being honest), pride.
Your six month mark came and I was still having dreams that you'd be home when I woke up. I had been in your room several times, but not for long. It still hurt too much. Time passed and I still kept you in my heart, "checking" on you several times a day. Then a year!! Each of your emails kept us going. They were read too many times to count. And your pictures were like getting a favorite dessert to eat while the Jazz win the NBA title. Yeah, that good!!
Now, here we are anticipating your homecoming. I know you have changed in many ways. A Mother can see changes in her children that many others cannot. I see it in your testimony, your stature, your countenance. I can't wait to see it all in person. I know you will transition into life after mission. I know you are ready to use all you have learned. I am here for you. I will listen to every last story you want to share. I have a billion questions for you, I'm sure.
Please tell the people who surround you of my gratitude for them. Let them know how I have prayed for Heavenly Father to pour out blessings upon them because of their kindness to you. I love them and will forever be grateful for all they did for you. I only hope to meet them someday.
Hayden, I'll never be able to tell you the depth of admiration and complete awe I have for you and the mission you have served. You have done it! I cannot imagine how proud your Heavenly Father is. I KNOW how proud I am.
It has been a privilege typing you each week. I have felt blessings in our lives from your service. Thank you. Thank you for representing the Lord, our church, our ward, our neighborhood, our family and me. I lived your mission through you. I hope I can live it for real someday.
I have tried to say I love you in each email I sent. This one is no exception. I love you. Always.
P.S. We won't be hard to find at the airport. I'll be the crazy woman being restrained by security. I'm kidding...kinda."